Starting in Spring 2013, La Salle University faculty can use the new content editor in Blackboard to record video from any computer with a webcam. This tool offers online and blended instructors a quick way to add a personal touch to their courses in just a few steps. You might want to regularly record quick videos of yourself delivering announcements and learning objectives for each week, working through difficult problems and concepts, or addressing frequently asked questions.
Short videos (under 4 minutes) can be very engaging for students who are increasingly expecting more and more multimedia out of the online experience. This approach has benefits for faculty and students. Students can replay videos as much as they want until they understand the concepts presented, and faculty can capture and organize instructional videos of vital content without having to repeat themselves so much.
To get started, make sure you have a Google account and then use it to sign into YouTube.com. Once you are signed into YouTube, you can click on the profile icon on the top right hand corner of the screen to manage the videos you will create in Blackboard. The YouTube Video Manager is where you can adjust the privacy settings for your videos.
The next step is to make sure your computer has a working webcam and that you are using a browser that works with Blackboard’s Video Everywhere tool. As of this blog post, Google’s Chrome browser is the most cooperative. Internet Explorer 8 and above also works with some adjustments to the security settings, and Blackboard recently added support for Firefox 17. Note that whichever web browser you choose, you may have to make the adjustments in the security settings (see getting started guide below) and restart the browser before Video Everywhere will work.
Once you have the hardware and software requirements met, you are ready to start recording your own videos right from the Blackboard content editor! For detailed step-by-step instructions read through the getting started guide below or click here for a pdf version.
After you have completed the steps in the getting started guide, you should see a screen for Flash Player settings like the one below. When you get to this screen, make sure that you check the “Allow” setting. Also, be sure to click the webcam button to check that your recording device is recognized.
Once you have the Flash Player settings correctly configured, you can close that window and click the record button to begin capturing your video. The video will be automatically stored in your YouTube channel. To go back and insert previously recorded videos, just click on the tab at the top of the screen that says “Browse.”
After you have either recorded a new video or inserted one from your YouTube channel, click the upload button to place the video into Blackboard. You will be presented with two options. You can choose “play in place” to embed the video into your Blackboard content item at the size you specify, or you can choose “thumbnail” to display a small clickable image that opens the video in a new window. Once you select your display preference, click the insert button to insert the video and return back to the content editor.
You won’t be able to preview your video in Blackboard until you have submitted your content item. Finish adding any other additional content and then click the submit button. Please note that even after you submit your content item, you may need to turn off the edit mode in Blackboard before your video content will display in your course. The edit mode toggle switch is located near the top left hand corner of your screen (see below).
If you or your students are still having problems seeing the videos, make sure your browser is displaying the YouTube content that comes from outside the secure connection. To view the YouTube videos inside your course, users should click “No” if they see a warning message in Internet Explorer like the one below.
Soon after you walk through the process a few times, you will be uploading videos like a pro and wonder why you weren’t doing it before. But if you get stuck any where at all along the way, please feel free to contact the La Salle University instructional design team for assistance.